Clarke Making Repeat Trips

Dinkins, Bell, Clarke

While on the sideline of Kenan Stadium on Saturday watching North Carolina warm-up, Jeremiah Clarke noticed Tar Heel assistant coach Walt Bell point his direction as he stood on the field with fellow UNC pledge Robert Dinkins.

The point eventually turned into a wave and all three began walking towards each other. Once the trio's paths met, Bell introduced the two.

"It was cool," Clarke said. "We were just talking [and] getting to know each other a little bit more – especially since he's going to be a future teammate and fellow D-lineman. Yeah, it was good to get to know him a little better."

Clarke, a 6-foot-5, 275-pounder from Alexandria (Va.) Williams, had made a few visits to UNC prior to his June verbal commitment, but Saturday marked his first live UNC game.

Shortly after arriving on campus on Saturday, Clarke met briefly with Larry Fedora.

"He was just preparing me for the atmosphere," Clarke said. "He was just talking to me about how he can't wait for me to get down there."

After meeting with Fedora and watching the team warm-up, Clarke watched UNC dismantle Old Dominion, 80-20. Afterwards, he, his father, and teammate Malik Carney spent time on Franklin Street before heading back home.

"The atmosphere of the game was pretty good – especially against a team that wasn't a rival like a Duke or an NC State," Clarke said. "So the atmosphere was great. It was great to witness history with them scoring 80 points."

Clarke will see a rivalry game this Saturday when he returns to Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels' season finale against Duke.

"I'm just looking forward to seeing Duke vs. UNC," Clarke said. "I already have a basic idea of what the atmosphere is like, but I want to see how different it is for a rivalry game."

UNC is the only school Clarke plans on visiting.

"I'm not looking around," Clarke said. "I'm solid with my commit to UNC. Schools have tried to recruit me, but I just tell them the same thing – I'm content with my commitment and my decision."

Meanwhile, Clarke has stayed in constant contact with UNC's coaching staff. He says he speaks equally to Bell, his primary recruiter, and Keith Gilmore, UNC's defensive line coach. Clarke's focus is building a relationship with Gilmore, his future position coach.

"It's pretty strong," Clarke said. "I talk to him at least three, four times a week. We'll talk on the phone and social media."

Clarke, Gilmore, and Bell are finalizing plans for a January official visit.

Focused on his senior football season, Clarke elected to wait until after its conclusion before returning to UNC. Clarke helped lead T.C. Williams to a 7-3 regular season record, but more importantly ended a 22-year playoff drought. The Titans were upended in the first round by Lorton (Va.) South County.

"I wish we went further in the playoffs," Clarke said. "But to do what we did is still pretty incredible. I'm just happy to play with a group of guys that were ready to end that drought and get things done."

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